In summer of 2013, the then-mayor of New York Michael Bloomberg announced in a press conference an office would be opened in the city by Spotify and 100 engineers would have a job by the coming year. His aim was to make New York the favorite spot for tech firms to launch and grow. Search giant Google (GOOGL) and online shopping giant Amazon (AMZN) are planning to expand their massive markets in New York as well, according to reports. This could mean employment for thousands of people in the two companies.
Amazon has plans of splitting its second headquarters into two locations. Rumors suggest that one might be in Long Island City of Queens, New York. 50,000 high-paying jobs were promised by the company originally and even if that number becomes half, tens of thousands of people could still find employment. Google, on the other hand, is planning to open another office in the West Village neighborhood of Manhattan. Reports say that if the expansion by Google takes place successfully, 8,500 jobs would become available in New York. This can be seen as significant ascent of the city in the technology sector. However, neither company agreed to comment on the matter.
Fred Wilson and Julie Samuels, a venture capitalist and executive director of Tech:NYC, respectively, both agree that this scenario is both exciting and encouraging. Samuels says that after big investments in a virtual reality laboratory and cyber security, efforts to boost the tech clout of NYC have succeeded. New York and Cornell University have come up with tech campuses in addition to homegrown outfits MongoDB, Yext and Etsy are going public. Also contributing to the situation are Tumblr and WeWork. The tech sector of the city had 128,600 job openings by 2016. But hirings by the two tech giants could mean a certain ‘short-term crunch’ in tech talent supply, says Samuels.
Not just technology, but New York is a hub for finance, media and advertising too, unlike San Francisco. Large tech firms seem to be more and more interested in branching out into these fields too. Google has spent billions of dollars in this decade on NYC real estate. They bought Chelsea Market in early-2018. The company doesn’t just recruit engineers, but marketing staff and creative too. They have been, what Wilson calls, an ‘anchor tenant’ for the city’s tech ecosystem. And now the city will possibly have two anchor tenants. He however seemed wary when asked if this could mean the tech scene of New York surpassing Silicon Valley.